For Coach Rio Dela Cruz, this race is the sum-total of all of the best features he wants to see in a race. Simply put, it was to be his “showcase”… And what a showcase runners did get. For most, this was the best organized race that they have participated in so far. It is a bummer if one wasn’t able to experience running it. I should know, I was one of them. *SIGH*
Weeks before this race, I have already set my eyes on running my third half marathon in this prelude to the Runrio Trilogy of races. What’s more, my excitement rises a notch higher everytime race updates or advance race event information gets to us from organizers, making me really look forward into participating in it. Lastly, of course I wouldn’t let the chance to see Piolo Pascual run his first road race ever, I had to be there to see him off and finish his 10k!
But then, certain personal developments wouldn’t let me run. I was honestly sad but then whatever it is that prevented me to be doing this one thing I love, I have in a short while accepted it. And of course, no matter what, I knew that I will still be there, running or not. I will be there come race day and take part in the happenings even as a mere expectator.
So there I was, running gear and race kit tucked in my bag (just in case I felt like I can do even a short 5k run) with hubby at the race activity area a few minutes before 5am. As i have told friends, I proceeded to go near the stage area and wait for them there. My wait was to be worth it for I was to chance upon Piolo before he and Coach Rio goes up the stage and open the event with a prayer. Thanks super to Gemma, Timex Marketing Manager, who called me to join them, I got my first photo of the day – my picture with Piolo, a chance to animatedly chat with him and kiss him good luck. Sheer luck? Hmm no, as Gemma would love to put it, it is a mere case of “The early bird catches the early Piolo” lol! Can I just say that the kiss and the chance to be “feeling close” with Piolo erased the bitter feeling of not beeing able to run the said race? Oh, shallow as it may seem, it did. I just really like the guy and I don’t care if others don’t. Hmmm and by the way, Piolo went on to finish a sub-50 – he clocked in at 47:54 together with Coach Rio. Making true his reply to me when I told/chided him on finishing with a sub-60 – “Kaya yan!”.
As expected, a lot of my running friends participated in this race. Hubby went on to run and finish a 5k, setting a new personal best. Tanya, Mark, Tiffin, Aljo, Cristy, Jaimie, Doray and Mariel each had a good 10k run. Raymund, Bobby, Mayen, JunC, Jay, Jaymie and Miguel took on the half marathon. Marga, Vener and Joms were there too but did not run and were satisfied with being merely expectators, photogs and supporters just like me. Each one of us truly had fun, whether we ran or not. As usual, we especially had fun meeting-up post race for the expectated photo-ops.
So why was this race the best organized race ever? Why was it to be considered the race showcase that it went on to be? Here folks are some of my observations together with the feedback I got from friends who were able to run and tackle the route:
•Fuss-free race registration, may it be during the regular registration or the extended period.
•Race kit consists of a race bib and a timing chip, conspicuously packed in clear plastic and a race singlet (for those who registered within the regular registration)
•Visible labels and timers at the Start/Finish arc together with an animated race route display
•Cheering squad from David’s Salon along the start and finish area
•Marshalls and Race staff are sufficient in numbers and easily identifiable with their uniform and IDs
•Wide screen at the main stage showing the goings-on at the Start/Finish area
•Properly-labeled booths along the activity area especially those for the claiming of give-aways
•Portalets are a damn lot resulting to almost no queues if and when you need to use it
•Massage booth for runners to avail of post-race (sarap!)
•Timex Race Backdrops and Piolo and Coach Rio standees for photo-ops (just in case you weren’t able to catch them in person!)
•No long queues at the finish line
•No long queues/waiting for runners to be able to claim their give-aways
•Finisher’s medal and dri-fit shirt for 21k finishers
•Loot bag give-aways after the race
•Fast and accurate race results (check the initial results here at the brand new RUNRIO site)
•Souvenir on-the spot finisher photo print from Photo Vendo (it shows you finishing with Coach Rio and Piolo, yun oh!)
•Detailed RunPix performance analysis complete with graphic illustrations and comparative results (click HERE to view results)
•Professional action shots by PhotoVendo to capture those precious winning moments (click HERE to view the photos)
•Free viewing of the Pacquiao-Cotto fight in two areas: one at the main stage screen and another at the Cignal booth
•Paul Calvin’s Brunch buffet and Pacquiao-Cotto fight inside a tent for only PHP500
•Long line of hydration tables with more than enough water and 100 Plus drinks in cups strategically and conveniently located at the middle of the race route making it easier for runners who are on either side of the route to get hydrated
•Bananas along the route were provided to those who ran the 21k
•Enough kilometer markers and directional signs along the race route
And for all those, I would agree 100% if people say that this was the best race ever organized so far in the Philippine running history. I would even go on to say that the money each runner paid for registering in this race was all worth it. The race was best and friendly for all runners – wannabes, newbies and elites alike. If this is a preview of things to come, I would be really eager to see how the Runrio trilogy would turn out.
Congratulations to Gemma and the Timex People, the Finishline staff especially to Vince, Cristel and Kaye and of course to Rio who got his dream race to become a reality. Kudos guys, this is one testament that hard-work and good planning really pays-off.
As for me, I know that running will eventually take me back when I am ready to get back to it. For this race, I was just too happy to still be there and enjoy the pre and post-race activities. I was more of an expectator and photog but then again, it’s as if I PRed too.
Check out more Timex Run photos HERE.